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placement Programme

put yourself ahead of the pack

an experience that will last a lifetime

Our placement programme offers students an unrivalled experience working with experts on a wide range of species and making a real difference to conservation in West Africa.  We stay in local family compounds through the Gunjur Development Association (read more below) in the friendly, lively coastal village of Gunjur, renowned for its abundance of wildlife, and close to our own nature reserve. A great base for exploring The Gambia!

Our placements will provide you with the practical know-how and ability to carry out a wide range of techniques applicable to a career in conservation as well as life experiences in self-confidence, public speaking, problem-solving and leadership. The level of responsibility given to you throughout our research projects will be based on your current skills, experience and knowledge to ensure you get as much out of your placement as possible.

It will also give you the invaluable opportunity to take part in ground-breaking research, for example increasing the known population of an Endangered primate by 24%. Data collected has also contributed to numerous significant scientific papers and rediscovering several species thought to be extinct in The Gambia and even one thought to be extinct globally!

As well as all of this, you will be encouraged to spend your free time immersing yourself in the local Gambian culture. You will have the option to visit local schools, arts and crafts markets, take up dance lessons, experience local Gambian food and drinks and visit the white sandy beaches. There's nothing better than watching the sunset with a bonfire after a busy day of research!

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Highlights

Vital conservation work

Collaborating with leading biologists and conservationists

A range of projects and species

Reptile Education Centre

Paradise beach

Local school visits

Local cooking lessons and dinner parties

Dance and djembe lessons

Pyshical activity e.g. sunrise runs and/or fitness classes

If you have any specific requests, we will try to make it happen!

 

More information within our handbook, please see below.

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Accomodation

Our placements include a stay with our partners at Gunjur Project Lodge for team building and orientation before transferring to one of our handpicked families via Gunjur Development Association (GDA). Our family compounds receive a full assessment and hosts have attended training sessions on food safety, basic first aid, emergency response, child and vulnerable adult safeguarding and transport safety. You will receive placement management, support and documented meetings with a member of our  team. 

More information within our handbook, please see below.

Dates and coSTS

12-week Placement Programme: August 23 - November 15 2024*

*Shorter stays are possible upon agreement. 

Pricing from £950 per person per week**; this includes accommodation with meals, in-country transport, research permits, guide fees and full academic support.

Flights are separate and are to be booked by the individual. Current flight prices typically range from £550-£850 for UK return tickets.

*Shorter stays are possible upon agreement. 

** These are costs for a 12-week stay, shorter stays may differ in price per week. 

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WORK AND ACTIVITIES

Research activities will vary from week to week, taking into consideration different seasons and individual preferences.  Core activities are usually carried out between dawn and dusk and involve survey work (see below).  You will also help out at our tree nursery and nature reserve helping us re-establish an area of fast-disappearing coastal forest and create eco-attractions by servicing feeding stations for bushbabies, genets etc.

Example research projects:

  • Visiting artisanal fisheries and collecting data on elasmobranchs and bycatch

  • Camera trapping unsurveyed forests for possible new species

  • Transects of Critically Endangered hooded vultures

  • Individual identification of Critically Endangered Atlantic humpback dolphins

  • Primate surveys (e.g. Endangered Temminck's red colobus and bushbaby)

  • Creating and development management plans guided by PWG staff.

You can read more on our projects and publications here.

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Your Contribution

Your involvement provides a huge contribution to the conservation of West African wildlife, the locals' quality of life and the Gambian economy. The data that you collect for our ongoing research projects allows us to protect the numerous ecosystems from current threats of deforestation, poaching and climate change (e.g. extended dry seasons). We accomplish this by monitoring populations, discovering new species, regenerating, extending and protecting degraded forest areas and creating a new understanding of a mutually beneficial relationship between humans and the local wildlife.

You can read more about our contributions here.

HOW TO APPLY

Applications for 2024 placement schemes are now open until 01 June, 2024.

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Get to Know Before you Travel

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